Ever wanted to question the specifics of a villian's clichéd world domination plan? Call a villain out on the infantile nature of it, presenting the d...moreEver wanted to question the specifics of a villian's clichéd world domination plan? Call a villain out on the infantile nature of it, presenting the difficulties he'll face in accomplishing such a feat, and then maintaining leadership should he succeed? Skullduggery Pleasant does all that and more with his quick, dry wit and that sharp, sarcastic tongue of his, and it's deliciously satisfying and rib-ticklingly funny. An excellent non-essential freebie.
I'm so sorry for laughing and judging you based on how I believed you'd died. Living with Hirschsprung's disease had to be awful, a...moreDear Elvis Presley,
I'm so sorry for laughing and judging you based on how I believed you'd died. Living with Hirschsprung's disease had to be awful, always worrying, always in discomfort. People assuming you were fat when the distended abdomen was a sign you were seriously ill.
Begging your forgiveness,
At autopsy, his colon was "two to three times normal size ... was jam-packed [length-wise]... The impaction had the consistency of clay and seemed to defy Florendo's efforts with the scissors to cut it out." The clayey material, he says, was barium, administered to prep Presley for a set of X-rays - taken four months earlier. "That barium was... Just like a rock." He says the impaction obstructed at least 50 to 60 percent of the diameter of Presley's colon ... [It] had expanded so dramatically [at the end of his career] that it crowded his diaphragm and had begun to compromise his breathing and singing.' Soiling himself on stage happened regularly, he had no control whatsoever because of the disease. 'The resulting arrhythmia [from straining to make a bowel movement] can be fatal ... especially likely to happen to someone, like Elvis, with a compromised heart.' It's a common cause of death but wasn't well-known or understood at the time of Presley's death.
'Stool softeners are administered as a matter of course on coronary-care wards.'
Nasal regurgitation. Fistulated stomachs. Rectal feeding. Holy water enemas. Mythbusting Mary Roach concentrates on the strange, the unethical, and the downright funny aspects of the alimentary canal.
I've learned many things:
✺ Eat more liver. Organs are the most nutritious parts of an animal. ✺ Never take alka seltzer / bicarbonate of soda / baking soda after eating too much. ✺ Never light a match or breathe without apparatus near a manure pit. ✺ Never punch someone in the mouth unless I'm willing to lose a finger. ✺ Anal cancer exists and is contracted the same way as cervical cancer. ✺ A human cannot survive being swallowed by a large fish. Jonah lied. ✺ Fire-breathing dragons snakes are possible under the right conditions. ✺'Humans perceive five tastes - sweet, bitter, salty, sour, and umami (brothy) - and an almost infinite number of smells. Eighty to ninety percent of the sensory experience is olfaction [smell]. ✺ Never take the ability to smell, taste, or swallow for granted. ✺ 'brachioproctic eroticism' = 'fist-fucking' ✺ To respect the "prison wallet" (rectum). When I need to go, I'm going. I don't want to be constipated. ✺ Never insert an object rectally unless I'm will to lose it up in there.
Well, Roach has covered the three basics of animal biology: feeding, sex, and death. Her witty approach to her subject matter helps the medicine go down, as it were. She makes learning fun by breaking things down into easily digestible bites (puns intended), though there are a few less interesting bits. I wonder what she'll cover next.
*Many thanks to the publisher for the e-ARC in return for an honest review.(less)
Refreshingly not politically correct. Loved the comic strips which rendered perfectly well on my Kindle. I was most interested in the Scottish history...moreRefreshingly not politically correct. Loved the comic strips which rendered perfectly well on my Kindle. I was most interested in the Scottish history (e.g. Jacobite Rebellion) and the personal hygiene and fashion of the period. Had I still been a child I'm sure I'd have given this 5 stars. The only one I read and enjoyed back then was The Vile Victorians.(less)
It's okay to rape your husband. (Source: Chapter 18 onwards.)
Up until this chapter The Duke and I was on the road to four stars. Four and not five bec...moreIt's okay to rape your husband. (Source: Chapter 18 onwards.)
Up until this chapter The Duke and I was on the road to four stars. Four and not five because of:
➜ Anthony's behaviour after witnessing his friend's mouth on his sister's chest in the garden of a house party, challenging his FRIEND to a duel after Simon refused to marry Daphne on the grounds it would make her unhappy because he couldn't give her what she'd always wanted i.e. children and therefore happiness. If Simon really was a friend, Anthony would've asked more questions about the why and been more tenacious in getting an accurate answer instead of jumping into a duel where he'd be forced to kill his friend;
➜ The following duel scene the next morning when Daphne outright lies to Simon about others, besides Anthony, witnessing their intimate act to prevent Simon from being killed in the duel and to force him to marry her, followed by Simon omitting the fact he won't have children and instead says he 'can't' have them so he doesn't have to tell her his very personal reason why.
I swallowed these things hoping it would come out later and they'd forgive each other in the end.
What I was not expecting was Daphne's grotesque arrogance and selfishness in taking advantage of her drunk husband after she found out the truth, denying him sex and companionship, and not allowing him to pull out during sex so she could have the children she'd always wanted. They'd been MARRIED TWO WEEKS, there was plenty of time to discuss his problems, his worries, about even contemplating children and instead she takes the choice from him against his will as he struggles with her once he realises her intentions.
After what Simon's father did to him Daphne's behaviour is even worse because she knew about Simon's stuttering and his father's abandonment of Simon because of this. And then two months after Simon leaves her he finds he misses her and he CAN'T REMEMBER WHY HE LEFT IN THE FIRST PLACE, thereby excusing any wrongdoing on her part. But not only that, Daphne sends her angry brother after Simon without telling him she was the reason Simon left and not Simon himself.
So, four stars to one. If the gender roles had been reversed I'd expect more people would've been outraged at the rape. Completely ruined a perfectly good book, and my first, and possibly the last, by Julia Quinn.(less)
Thank you for this book. I see you're growing beyond the boundaries of paranormal romance and straying into urb...moreDear Ms. Laurenston (A.K.A. Ms. Aiken),
Thank you for this book. I see you're growing beyond the boundaries of paranormal romance and straying into urban fantasy and horror (See, I added this to my horror shelf). Some may say you focused a little more on the war than the romance, but I valued the descriptions of that war and the further character development of Annywl, Eibhear, and the children (Talan, Talwyn and Rhianwen) far, far more than the very funny but not all-consuming romance.
Never have I admired a female warrior, hunter or assassin more than Annwyl. She stole the limelight away from Rhona and Vigholf in this one. Focus and determination; pushing beyond her own physical and mental limitations; the willingness to torture, lopping off limbs and penises (of rapists); sacrificing the few to save the many, even the safety of her own children, an incredibly tough decision to make, all for the welfare of her people, human and dragon alike.
"It means she's amazing -and terrifying. Annwyl kills without question, rules with an iron fist, and has little patience for anyone. She can be cruel, she can be loving, she can be heartless, and she can care too much. She is blindingly loyal, but demands the same loyalty from everyone and is devastated when she doesn't receive it."
Annywl may seem more batshit crazy than brave, and also appears incredibly arrogant and unlikeable to some but if I could be any fictional character Annwyl would be one of my choices, despite the hardships she's suffered.
'There was a time Annwyl would laugh at that kind of reaction. She was only as crazy as she needed to be to get the job done, she's often tell her mate. But these days, Annwyl was beginning to feel as crazy as everyone thought she was. Probably the loss of sleep. She was pretty sure one needed sleep, to function properly. How could she expect to function properly when she couldn't sleep? When they wouldn't let her sleep. Why wouldn't they let her sleep?'
Annwyl's reunion with her mate and then her children brought a tear to my eye. She's not one to cry or bitch and moan so when she finally broke down after all the pressure she was under, I completely understood and sympathised.
Feminism is a strong theme in many of your books, Ms. Laurenston, and never have you addressed that theme in a manner so right than in this book, where I see true equality between the sexes compared to the age-old ways of the Northlanders' recent-ish past.
The children, oh how I love them so. Their uniqueness, idiosyncrisies, and inherited family traits put together with their youth (6 and 7 years old) innocence (haha, they've all ready killed!) and secret abilities made them adorable and fierce, like their mother. They'll be a ruling trio when they're older and woe betide anyone who gets in their way, with the twins' power of the sword and Rhianwen's mighty power of magic they'll make formidable for formidable enemies. I desperately want to follow their stories, watch them learn and grow.
Eibhear, I felt so sorry for him. He has the biggest conscience and what happened was not his fault. We have never seen him angry, he's a softie which the Northland dragon warriors deplored. Killing wasn't in his nature despite his enormous size, big even for a dragon, until an unforeseen incident, and then pure, unadulterated rage saw him do the uncharacteristic, cutting down every single enemy soldier he could find and even that wasn't enough for him. Rhiannon's attempt and comfort and his conversation with Izzy at the end was supremely sad. I hope Izzy can rouse him from his "emptiness" and make him feel again. Only a few more days to go until their long-awaited book.
I hope you one day write an urban fantasy or horror book, if you do, I'll be first in line to read it. I've very much enjoyed the story arc in your dragon books, and as always your ability to create lovable and distinctive characters who form the most caring and loyal of communities of which I'd love to be apart.
Thank you for becoming a writer and giving me the joy of reading your books which brighten the most crappy of days. Your imaginative sense of humour is much appreciated. (view spoiler)[Vigholf punching the horse unconscious and his battle of wills with the stallion -LMAO! (hide spoiler)]
This book is all about th...moreWeird, wacky and whimsical worldbuilding, Batman!
Silly, stupid and senseless.
Depends on your outlook, and sense of humour.
This book is all about the worldbuilding. Forget about the plot, there isn't much of one and it isn't introduced until quite late into the book.
Croak is a town filled with places and characters with names linked to death e.g. Kilda, Mort, Corpp's (pub), Dead Weight (gym) etc, etc. Every single inhabitant, 82 including our MC, is an oddball and a former delinquent just like Lexington is at the beginning. A rebel without a cause. Punching, kicking and biting her way through life much to her own chagrin. She hates being unable to control her violent outbursts. But this makes her an exceptional Killer Grim -someone who separates the soul from the body at the precise moment of death with a single touch while her male 18-year-old partner, Driggs is a Culler who harvests the souls and transports them back to the Bank to be released into the Afterlife via the Atrium where Mr. Tell Tale Fart a.k.a. Edgar Allan Poe, Elvis and many a dead US president like to hangout to greet the newbies and socialise with the Grims.
Lex's new summer job seems to have a calming effect, giving her purpose and a sense of fulfillment. The town accepts, welcomes and understands her wild nature so she quickly feels at home despite the lack of internet and cell signal.
There's much to laugh at; the absurdity of death detecting jellyfish, the unsettling chemistry between Lex and Driggs and their inability to deal with it, but this balances out the horrors of reaping the horribly disfigured, the young and the murdered. Lex struggles to adhere to the rules by doing her job and only her job. She itches to chase after murderers and deal out some justice although she believes it's also unfair that people like John Wilkes Booth don't go to hell and reap a little of what they sow. And then Lex finds out why Killing is an intensely different experience for her in particular. (view spoiler)[She can damn people, anyone, whether living or on the brink of death. Condemn their souls to be locked out of the Afterlife. Burnt from the inside out -an exceptionally painful way to go.
I think it's a cop-out that this ability was stolen from her before she had a chance to decide what to do with it, if anything. It would've created conflict within herself and with the Croakers as they compare her to the serial killer from the 1800s and the current one. (hide spoiler)]
The romance with Driggs gets a tad uncomfortable with a stalker/paedophile vibe at one point which he fully admits. The plot served only to sever the only connection the MC had to her old New York City life: (view spoiler)[by killing off her twin sister (hide spoiler)]. No attempt was made to mask the identity of the serial killer so there was no mystery there.
Humour is subjective. Sometimes I enjoyed it immensely and others it was over the top and irritating. The same goes for the worldbuilding. It gets a little complicated which along with the absurdness of it all, makes everything harder to comprehend. However, the unusual writing was fresh and exciting and encouraged me to read more.
Croak is like Dead Like Me on steroids. And LSD. I didn't hate it although I can't say for sure whether I'll read the sequel or not.(less)
Customer: Do you have any Robin Hood stories where he doesn't steal from the rich? My husband's called Robin and I'd like to buy him a copy for his birthday, but he's a banker, so...
This little book is full of the weird, the wonderful and the hilariously funny things customers say in bookshops. The cover is beautiful and I love the little illustrations alongside the quotes, especially this one:
Favourites that aren't in the book, from the website:
a customer reading a book about the nativity. Customer *to her friend*: Don't you ever get the feeling that Baby Jesus is somehow related to Herod? I always think that he's going to go: 'JESUS. I AM YOUR FATHER.'
Child *to me*: Does Santa come to your bookshop to get gifts for kids? Me *nodding wisely*: Yes. Yes. He absolutely does. Child: That's awesome! Me: Yes, it is. Child: But... Me: But what? Child: But... Santa's really fat. I don't think he could squeeze through the gaps in the bookshelves. Me: It's ok. He sends us a list before hand, and we leave the books by the door. Child: That makes you Santa's elf! Me: Yes... yes, I suppose it does.
I've been following the blog and Facebook Page, nodding when I've come across something I've experienced as an ex-bookseller and laughing when it's so absurd and is, as Neil Gaiman has quoted on the cover, kinda sad.(less)
After getting over the giggles and settled down to read this seriously, I found this book educational, interesting and jaw-dropping. If I'd recorded t...moreAfter getting over the giggles and settled down to read this seriously, I found this book educational, interesting and jaw-dropping. If I'd recorded the soundtrack of me reading this it would be full of giggles, gasps, oh my gods and ewws. Anyone listening would assume I was Bonking, instead of reading about it.
Mary Roach fully immerses herself in her research, even taking part in some studies to experience the experiments for herself. I feel for her husband. Being married to her can mean finding yourself chatting to a strange man watching you having sex with your mad wife inside an MRI machine.
Her witty commentary on the history of sex research shows the people behind the white coats weren't all perverts and had a genuine scientific curiosity about sex, the most taboo subject in the world no matter time or place you live in. The negative effect this had on both their careers and their personal lives was sometimes staggering.
However, some of the experiments on animals...err...well, they were uncomfortable to read. Roach only reported on the humane ones but even those -I was questioning where the line between science and bestiality is, if there is one. I'm sorry, researchers but there was a gigantic EWW! moment involving a female primate. It was too weird.
Being female I was most interested in the female chapters than the male which tended to drag for me although penis re-attachment surgery was most...enlightening. *coughs to hide smile*
Certain statistics, anecdotes and trivia (e.g. items removed from naughty places that can't be explained without embarrassment) were spread throughout the book, many of which were in the footnotes so whatever you do, pay attention to those even if you, like some, don't particularly like Roach's writing. Her sense of humour won't be to everyone's taste, for me it's more hit than miss but I can understand why some see it as forced, trying too hard to evoke a laugh from her audience.
In an ideal world I'd want to give this to teenagers as part of their sex education. Anyone who might assume this is just some smutty perverted book just by looking at the cover, is wrong. Neither is it dry and boring, there will be no Zzzz's whilst reading this. If anything I'd warn people: You must have a strong stomach. There are graphic descriptions of surgical procedures that will have you involuntarily crossing your legs in sympathy.
So if you want to read about how men get erections, why some women orgasm and others don't then this book is for you. Have fun and try not to puke.(less)
ETA June 2011: Listened to Samuel L. Jackson reading this on YouTube HERE and he narrated it perfectly. Profanity always sounds great when it's comin...moreETA June 2011: Listened to Samuel L. Jackson reading this on YouTube HERE and he narrated it perfectly. Profanity always sounds great when it's coming out of his mouth.
May 28, 2011: The pdf viral is excellent. Funny because it's true. Definitely a bestseller in the making.
From Publishers Weekly: Finally, one book whose buzz began weeks ago and kept rising after its .pdfs went viral, the wildly titled Go the F*** to Sleep by Adam Mansbach, illus. by Ricardo Cortés, from Akashic Books, is still going strong. Consortium president Julie Schaper reports that there are 225,000 copies in print, the pub date has been moved up to mid-June, and almost all the copies are “spoken for.” In addition, movie rights have been optioned and at least six foreign language rights deals have been struck. Dave Mallman, a bookseller at the Next Chapter, called it a “stroke of genius that irreverently expresses the frustrations all parents face when dealing with our beloved but exasperating children.”(less)